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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have been together for a number of years, and were close friends before dating. We have lived together for 10 months now and pretty much act like a married couple. I feel I am ready to become engaged.

He, on the other hand, feels we should wait until his 16-year-old daughter, "Lacy," moves out -- either back with her mother or on her own. He doesn't feel it's "right" for us to marry before then.

We are both adults, and while I don't want to disregard Lacy's feelings, I think this is something WE should decide. We have told her many times that our relationship doesn't mean Daddy loves her any less.

Something in me is beginning to think he's just making excuses and he won't "buy the cow" as long as he's getting the milk for free. I feel like I am ... FLOATING IN LIMBO IN DELAWARE

DEAR IN LIMBO: You and your boyfriend need to have a frank talk because it appears you thought moving in with him would bring you a firm commitment, and he appears to be happy with the status quo. If you haven't already done so, tell him exactly what you have told me, because what you have written makes perfect sense. And if he's unwilling to budge, then it's time for you to "moo-ve" out.

DEAR ABBY: I recently attended a funeral of someone close. It was a sad time for me, but it sparked an idea that may bring comfort to my family and friends when it's my time to go.

Abby, would it be out of line to make a goodbye video of myself? It would include fond memories that would put a smile on someone's face and allow my family and friends to remember me as I was alive, not as I lay in a coffin. Instead of a plastic bookmark, I could leave a DVD of my final goodbyes.

I have a health problem and don't know how long I have, so I'd like to know what you and your readers think about my idea. I trust your advice, Abby, so please let me know. -- FINAL FAREWELL, UPSTATE NEW YORK

DEAR FAREWELL: As long as your video is done tastefully, I see no reason why you shouldn't do it. We live in an age when video and YouTube are a part of our everyday lives. I'm sure your memento will be treasured by the loved ones you leave behind.

DEAR ABBY: For Valentine's Day I bought a dozen red roses and had them delivered to my girlfriend's workplace. On her way home that evening, she made a stop at the grocery store and encountered a distraught young man near tears because he couldn't afford to buy flowers for his girlfriend. She offered him money but he refused, so she gave him the roses I bought for her. (Abby, they had cost me more than $82!)

The whole episode still has me upset. I know the roses were a gift and she had every right to do with them as she wished. But I think what she did was thoughtless and insensitive and didn't take my feelings into consideration. She says I am narrow-minded because I don't see it from her perspective. What do you think? -- GRINCHED IN IOWA

DEAR GRINCHED: I can see how, having spent as much as you did for the roses, you could be upset. I can also see how your kindhearted girlfriend might have had pity on the guy and acted on impulse. While the roses were hers, she could have accomplished the same thing by giving him one or two of the roses to give to his girlfriend. However, if you care about this relationship, you'll stop brooding and drop the matter.

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